Ordination Herstories: Kendra Haloviak Valentine and Norma Osborn

On September 23, 1995 at the Sligo Seventh-day Adventist Church in Maryland, Kendra Haloviak and Norma Osborn, along with Penny Shell, were ordained to Gospel Ministry. In a new documentary from Spectrum Media, Kendra and Norma talk about the experience and what it meant to them.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/article/2015/06/19/ordination-herstories-kendra-haloviak-valentine-and-norma-osborn

Against church policy.

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In accordance with congregation conviction of gospel allowance. A simple recognition of the calling and gifting of God in the women “ordained” at a local level. No “power” or “recognition” outside Sligo, but an important, affirming move. It seems it was a moving of the Spirit, NOT any of the women coming forward, saying “we need to do this.”


And naturally, church policy is moral and biblically correct in every regard…


I have understood it was not against the Sligo church policy. Please provide the citation for the policy that this was against 20 years ago. Thanks.


There are several countries in the South Pacific where keeping the Sabbath from sunset Friday to sunset Saturday is against official SDA Church policy. What would you do in this case, follow church policy or obey God’s commandments?


Which policy, please?


That’s what ordination is. It is not the bestowing of some kind of “headship.”


It seems to me that the Sligo church was in good company by going “against church policy.”

I seem to remember a certain rabbi about 2000 years ago did a lot of things “against church policy.”

He went against church policy when he spoke to a Samaritan in a social manner. Not only that, he broke another policy at the same time. He actually spoke to a woman about spiritual things.

It was church policy that only disciples sat at a rabbi’s feet. Women were supposed to do the supporting behind the scenes. So when a certain woman by the name of Martha saw her sister going against the church policy of the proper place of women, she was totally in the right. She was reminding her sister and the rabbi of church policy. But this rabbi said that the sister, Mary by name, who sat at his feet as a disciple had “chosen the better part.”

I figure that keeping company with that rabbi is a very good thing. You may have a different opinion, of course.


Yawn. Yes, Pago. We know. Doesn’t matter to many of us. Those saints knew the ordination was symbolic but believed it was recognized by God. Luther went against church policy, too. So did James and Ellen White. So did William Miller. Thank God for those who’ve gone against “church policy”. Conformers like you usually aren’t those who cause important change and progress.


If you believe the Bible you believe that statement “by their fruits ye shall know them”. I have personally known Norma and Kendra for many years. They have served faithfully, inspired many, comforted many. And they continue to do so. By their fruits I know they are ministers of God’s grace.


Indeed. For me in my studies I cannot find any definitive link to the notion of husband as head of the wife in the home extending to all men being the head of all women in the church. This is the crux of the weakness of the so called “headship” teaching. It doesn’t exist in the church, only in the home, and only in the light of Ephesians 5, which counsel eliminates any dictatorial spirit of husbands and any competition with husband by wives.


The headship folk seem to be trying to supply that missing link by postulating that Eve was placed under Adam, to submit to his authority, right from Creation. This would make the submission of women to men something necessitated by differences in their inherent constitution. Thus male leadership (i.e. authority) over women would have to apply everywhere. They say it’s not that women are inferior; they were just made for a different “role.”

This reasoning does great violence to the inspired record, in which Eve was placed under Adam’s rule only after the entrance of sin. In Ellen White’s explanation of this, in Patriarchs and Prophets, page 58, she states:

“In the creation God had made her the equal of Adam. Had they remained
obedient to God—in harmony with His great law of love—they would ever
have been in harmony with each other; but sin had brought discord, and
now their union could be maintained and harmony preserved only by
submission on the part of the one or the other. Eve had been the first
in transgression; and she had fallen into temptation by separating from
her companion, contrary to the divine direction. It was by her
solicitation that Adam sinned, and she was now placed in subjection to
her husband.”

So, submission of one to the other was unnecessary before the fall of mankind, and afterward Eve was chosen for the submissive role, not due to anything inherent to the female nature, but because she had been the first to sin. This passage is absolutely fatal to the headship doctrine within the SDA Church, which is being promoted by those who love to quote Ellen White for their own purposes, but they cannot accept what she is plainly saying here, without blowing their whole theory.


Yes, and active open rebellion. This occurred shortly after Utrecht, if I remember correctly. This rebellions attitude has been growing and this is one reason we are facing the current crisis. It’s amazing how much in denial some folks are about the votes in Utrecht and Toronto. They seem to get around it by either denying that the votes meant anything (I expect responses to that effect to follow), or by some sleight of hand method similar to what the Pharisees did to make their “Sabbath day journeys” longer; or to make it possible to legally carry a burden on the Sabbath.

The vote in San Antonio will be similar, I’m afraid. Even with a resounding “no” the rebellious Unions will probably continue to justify their actions. It could get messy.

Two ways for leadership to respond: Allow more congregationalism or more authoritarianism. Which is more likely to accomplish the 2nd Angels message, the heart of Adventism. A call to come “out of Babylon,” all the false Sunday churches, into “the remnant”–the people of God who hold all “the truth” at the very close of this earth’s history?

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The short video said as much: the ordiantions did take place shortly after Utrecht. The votes of 90 and 95 happened in Indianapolis (90) and Utecht (95). I wasn’t denial over the votes. The testimony on the video said a growing sense in the congregation said “we have had women ministers for a long time among us, we can’t wait for the world church to vote ‘yes’ and it is time to acknowledge these women’s calling and gifts from God.” So they laid hands on them. The service didn’t have any affect outside the Sligo Church. It was a local action of recognition of the gift in the women as ordination is suppose to mean.

  1. “WHO” in the time between the arrival back to Jerusalem from Babylon and the time of the writing of the Gospels, decided that “one could ONLY go 2 miles by foot” on Sabbath?
    That any further was a SIN?
    WHO, or WHAT GROUP had the Authority to make this declaration, this Rule?

  2. James, the leader of the Jerusalem Church.
    By WHAT AUTHORITY did he have the right to throw the Torah out the Window? To say the Torah Rules no longer applied?
    And, everyone said, “Yes, sounds good!” Sat there, copied the statement on paper, placed it in their pockets, and went about reading the statement to every group of believers every Sabbath.
    THAT wasnt just against Policy, that was against Scripture of that day.

  3. What we have here is the ability of being practical. The ability to make needed changes when needful. Policies, Rules, and MAYBE EVEN SCRIPTURE being discarded when they are no longer needed.


Yes, the SOP makes it clear equality without submission was prior to the Fall. Submission comes after the Fall as a remedial necessity in a now sinful arrangement where self centered people need a new dynamic to relate the best as possible in marriage. I have not seen one study that addresses these very clear “plain readings” of these quotes. I have seen other quote taken out of context and infused with meaning they don’t express to suppor the notion of headship before the Fall.

The SOP supports non submission prior to the Fall as the Bible expresses when not read through the prism of a headship idea.


When, according to the text, God said woman would be less than equal to Adam,
1, Did God say, I COMMAND Adam to be the “head” over you? OR,
2. Did God say, I SEE IN THE FUTURE that because of sin, Adam and all men will have this false sense of superiority, and will treat women unfairly, will treat them as property, and therefore women will not be allowed to be able to fulfill all their potentials because of these Male attitudes?

In my way of understanding, I see it reading as #2. and NOT as #1.
I see it as God seeing into the future, and saying that SIN will cause divisiveness in the Male and Female husband-wife, men-women relationships in the family, and therefore extend to the community, extend to the “nation” and, therefore, extend to the world.


We Adventists have long believed & taught that we should be guided by & work to restore the Edenic ideals, such as the Sabbath & diet. It puzzles me greatly that when it comes to this one, some feel that we should enforce the curse rather than strive to uplift God’s intentions at Creation.